It’s very fitting that after producing its first Performance Report, Humanity United wants to know “how’d we do?” Not just as a foundation, but on the report itself.
The 2011 report, which is published on Humanity United’s website, is meant to go beyond what the foundation feels are the limitations of a traditional annual report. Rather than just describing its work, “we wanted to use the report to as a way to ask ourselves hard questions,” says Mike Boyer,Vice President, Strategic Communications. Those questions, adds Boyer, include “are we having impact, and if so, at what level? By individual grants? Clusters of grants? Or at the field level?”
Guest Post: Susan Herr, PhilanthroMedia
If your boss and colleagues don’t understand the very strategic work you are doing, is it your fault or theirs? That is the question that Network for Good’s Chief Strategy Officer Katya Andresen forces us to consider in this interview I recently conducted with her on “The Art of In-House Persuasion.”
Guest Post: Chris Palmedo, Northwest Health Foundation
One of the common refrains among members of the Communications Network is the need to seamlessly integrate communications with program work. We’ve talked about Kumbaya. We’ve encouraged ourselves to develop “closer working relationships” with program staff, to “shift the culture toward one of mutual respect” and to “get people to care enough” about communications. And we’ve been warned not to be to paternalistic in converting program staff who don’t “get it.”
Fortunately, my organization does “get it,” and I’ve been thinking that, perhaps, some views from Northwest Health Foundation’s perspective can provide some insight for my colleagues at other foundations. My experience working with program staff at our foundation goes beyond “mutual respect.” It’s more like “mutual challenge,” where program and communications push each other – and the organization – toward a common vision of social change.